US diplomat to visit to Sri Lanka for talks on security and counter-terrorism

Clarke Cooper - Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs

A senior American diplomat will visit Sri Lanka next week for talks on security and counter-terrorism, the US State Department has said.

Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper will travels to Singapore, India and Sri Lanka from May 29 to June 7.

In Sri Lanka, Cooper will meet with government officials and think tank experts to discuss security, peacekeeping, clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance, counter-terrorism and other areas of mutual interest.

In Singapore, Assistant Secretary Cooper will join Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea L. Thompson on a delegation of senior U.S. officials led by Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan for the Shangri-La Dialogue, a forum for exchanges among defense and security policy professionals from across the Indo-Pacific region.

Assistant Secretary Cooper will also meet with senior civilian and military officials from countries around the globe to discuss U.S. partnerships in regional security, maritime security, and defense trade efforts that contribute to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

In India, Assistant Secretary Cooper will hold talks on defense cooperation and peacekeeping, two key areas of the rapidly growing U.S.-India partnership as envisioned in the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

U.S.-India bilateral defense trade has risen from virtually zero in 2008 to $15 billion today.  Talks will focus on supporting India’s role as a Major Defense Partner, expanding our security cooperation, and furthering opportunities for American industry, the statement said.

(Source: Ada Derana)